National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are trusted, transferable qualifications accredited by the Department for Education. They are designed to help teachers hone and develop the skills they already have, helping them become a more effective leader inside and outside the classroom and to facilitate excellence across a range of contexts. We are committed to ensuring that NPQs continue to offer the best possible support to teachers and leaders wanting to expand their knowledge and skills.

We are excited to be delivering the new reformed suite of NPQs from November 2021. The three existing NPQs in Senior Leadership, Headship and Executive Leadership have been refreshed, ensuring that they are underpinned by the latest evidence of what works in schools to deliver the highest quality of education of young people. The current middle leader NPQ has been replaced with three new specialist NPQs.

National Professional Qualification in Early Years Leadership

National Professional Qualification in Early Years Leadership

In 18 months, participants will develop expertise in early years leadership, helping to give all children up to the age of five the best possible start in life.

Find out more

National Professional Qualification in Leading Literacy

National Professional Qualification in Leading Teacher Development

National Professional Qualification in Leading Behaviour and Culture

National Professional Qualification in Leading Teaching

National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership

National Professional Qualification in Headship

National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership

Early Headship Coaching Offer for new headteachers

John Winter
Pathfinder NPQ Lead

“Following on from the successful delivery of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) in the Yorkshire-Humber region over the last 4 years, I am delighted to be involved in the leading and delivery of the new reformed NPQ’s on behalf of Pathfinder Teaching School Hub and in collaboration with a range of regional partners. These new NPQs offer an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate across the region to further improve teaching and leadership in our schools so that pupils can be taught by an expert teacher and led by expert leaders.”

Delivery partner

We are proud to be working in partnership with Ambition Institute to deliver the full range of Specialist and Leadership NPQs. We believe that Ambition’s system-led leadership programme offers the best experience for colleagues embarking on these qualifications. The blend of clinics, conferences and communities offers a high-quality CPD experience across all NPQs.

“As a leader of a large multi academy trust, I see first hand the value of these qualifications. The NPQs provide the opportunity to drive staff development, leadership and progression locally within individual schools and also across the wider trust. Most importantly, these qualifications all support the improvement of provision and practice in the classroom and thus improving outcomes for the children in our care.”

Gail Brown, CEO Ebor Academy Trust

Frequently Asked Questions

For all programmes the time commitment for a participant is at least 50 minutes per week.  The 50 minutes study each week is made up of a combination of Insight and Application modules.

Insight modules: Weeks 1, 3 and 5 are independent and can be accessed whenever you want during the week through an online platform.  Through accessing the Insight modules, you will engage with new learning linked to your NPQ programme at your own pace.

Application modules: Weeks 2, 4 and 6 are completed with a `buddy’ so you will pair up and spend those 50 minutes (max) together either virtually or in person.  Your buddy will provide support throughout the programme.

In addition to the Insight and Application modules, there will be scheduled Clinics (2hr) and Communities (1hr).  As a rough guide, you will have a Clinic and a Community each half-term.

NPQLL, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC: The only time out of school required is for the one-day launch Conference and one of the twilight Clinics (which is scheduled approximately halfway through the Programme).

All other Clinics are run virtually (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The Programme lasts for 12 months, comprising six six-week courses).

NPQSL & NPQEYL: Two days out of school, the launch Conference and a second Conference at the 3/4 point of the Programme.  All Clinics are run inside the working day but outside of teaching time (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The Programme lasts for 18 months, comprising nine six-week courses.

NPQH: Three days out of school, the launch Conference and a Conference at the 3/4 point of the programme.  You will also be required to do a school visit to another school and can timetable that yourself.  All Clinics are run inside the working day but outside of teaching time (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The programme lasts for 18 months, comprising nine six-week courses.

The Assessment is a case study of 2000 words, which you read, and have 7 days to respond to in no more than 1500 words (essay style, continuous prose).  The Clinics that you will attend every 6 weeks take you through problem-solving/scenario based approaches to problem-solving, so this is great preparation for the Assessment.  The Assessment Clinic at the end of the programme will also prepare you for your 1500 word response.  You must also engage with at least 90% of the Course Content/Clinics/Conferences/Communities throughout your course to pass.

At present, teachers and school leaders in all state schools in England (including Post-16 organisations) – plus independent special schools, virtual schools, hospitals schools and young offender institutions – are now entitled to free places for all eight NPQs.  In addition to this, the NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture is free to non-teaching staff.

Access to funding remains conditional upon successful validation of participant registration information against Teaching Regulation Agency records, so you must ensure that the information supplied to your NPQ provider matches your teacher record.  You can check and update your record via the Teaching Regulation Agency Teacher Self-Service Portal.

If you are not eligible for scholarship funding (eg work in an Independent school), you can still undertake an NPQ.  Please contact us for further information.

Clinics are two-hour, facilitated sessions that aim to check participant understanding of the content delivered through the Insight and Application modules in previous six-week course, address common misconceptions, further contextualise the content and support the building of a community/network.

Communities are structured, peer-led sessions focussing on solving problems, applying the theory in context and supporting with network building.  The aim of your Community sessions is to help you to:

  • Identify your trickiest professional problems and explore ways to address them;
  • Learn from one another’s experiences and develop a network of support;
  • Improve knowledge and practice around the NPQ framework.